Maternal and child-health indicators have remained poor in northern India, with various factors contributing to the continued mortality and morbidity. Communication strategies play a powerful role in addressing the barriers to, and shaping demand for, the adoption of preventive health practices.
These two volumes, covering UP and Bihar respectively, provide valuable information on family dynamics that could be used to develop a comprehensive behavior change communication (BCC) strategy on family health in northern India. The study focuses on increasing the adoption of eight family-health behaviors that have a significant bearing on Millennium Development Goals.
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by experts in the field, it is perhaps for the first time that a BCC study has been designed on such a comprehensive scale, based on evidence generated from large, formative studies to identify the barriers and factors facilitating the adoption of family-health behaviors. Unlike most BCC studies that are based on cognitive theories of behavior change, this study, which integrates the broader social context, media choices, program structure, and audience interaction that influence the target behaviors, will be a valuable and timely resource for policy makers, program implementers, researchers, and field-level persons alike.